NCAA: Talks to Pay Student Athletes Move Forward

Power brokers weigh in on the debate about paying student athletes.

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Reggie Bush broke NCAA rules, forfeiting the Heisman. (Google)

Joe Schad of ESPN is reporting that one day after Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said his conference members had discussed the concept of paying student athletes more than the scholarship money awarded now, several other power brokers in college football weighed in on the topic.

Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said, "Something has to give on this issue. Universities justify spending tens of millions of dollars on coaches' compensation, with a seemingly insatiable appetite for more growth. At the same time, a small fraction of that amount is spent on all scholarships for all student athletes. Unless the student athletes in the revenue-producing sports get more of the pie, the model will eventually break down. It seems it is only a matter of time."

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the issue is one that needs to be revisited. "I have long thought that we should revisit the current limitations on athletic scholarships by expanding to the full cost of attendance," he said. "This is a student-welfare issue that deserves full consideration at both the conference and national levels. I look forward to that discussion."

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said that the concept should be  explored further. And spokesmen for NCAA President Mark Emmert and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said that they are also in favor of a review that could lead to athletes receiving a "full cost of attendance."

Well, well, well -- the big wigs are finally coming to the table to discuss an issue that should have already been explored: paying student athletes. The money that coaches are paid alone clearly warrants exploration of the matter. Yes, student athletes get scholarship money, but relative to the money they are generating for colleges and universities, including merchandising sales, it's a drop in the bucket.

We're glad that those in power are finally taking this issue seriously. Too bad this revelation came about after projections that the current business model will fail, but at least talks are happening. To that end, we're filing this under "Better late than never" and putting a copy in the "Keeping an eye on this issue" file.

What do you think? Should student athletes be paid more than scholarship money?

Read more at ESPN.

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